Who is Felix Afena-Gyan? Story of Jose Mourinho’s Ghanaian teen product at AS Roma

In Italy, the Romanian youth academy is known to be one of the most advanced schools in terms of nurturing young people who enjoy Serie A career.

Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi are Giallorossi carriers, and this season Lorenzo Pellegrini has taken the initiative to one day join the duo as a home story at Stadio Olimpico. This season looks set to be the time for Felix Afena-Gyan.

Introduced into the major leagues by Jose Mourinho as his side began to weaken in October, many expected the 18-year-old to take a small part, creating an odd appearance on the bench for information.

NOTE: Mourinho’s wild celebration on a grand victory

Then Sunday night’s dispute with Genoa changed everything.

After the final 15 minutes of the match, Afena-Gyan was replaced with the aim of empowering his team. Eight minutes later, the young man’s first finish was in the lower corner for the visitors to lead. Then in the suspension he fired a 25-yard touchdown pass to secure a 2-0 win over Mourinho’s men.

“I promised her that [if he scored] I can buy him his favorite shoes, which cost $ 900, “Mourinho revealed to DAZN after seeing Afena-Gyan become the third youngest player to score a number of goals in Serie A matches.

“She came to me and told me not to forget. Tomorrow morning I will go shopping.”

Mourinho was good at his words, as Afena-Gyan posted a video on Monday receiving his new shoes from the Champions League head coach twice.

How did Felix Afena-Gyan sign with the Roma?

From Sunyani in Ghana to Mourinho’s purchase of coaches at Muyaya City, Afena-Gyan has come a long way in the short term.

Until 2018, the only competitive youth football team came to his school before enrolling in the EurAfrica FC academy, a youth football project launched in 2018.

There he continued to impress scouts – including Morgan De Sanctis of Rome and Simone Lo Schiavo – and although he had never played in any of the Ghanaian or national leagues as a young international, he suddenly became the subject of a referendum on the War between Roma and AC Milan in January 2021.

MORE: Mourinho showed a red card during the Roma season

The Roma have won, in part because of one of the most recognizable Champions League performances in recent years.

“It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true for me,” he told BBC Sport after moving to Europe. The Roma made me very happy that night against Barcelona (in April 2018), so being part of this amazing club is a dream come true.

Afena-Gyan wasted no time in changing his dream club, scoring three goals in his first four games for the Under-18 team before being quickly promoted to Primavera (reserve), who made him four and assisted two. Figure 15 to end the campaign.

He made his debut early in the 2021-22 season, batting six times in five Primavera games to impress Mourinho and secure a first team match against Cagliari on October 27.

His speed and strength contributed to the game favoring the Roma late, and his second appearance met Genoa three and a half weeks later.

The future of Afena-Gyan football

A 100-meter runner in his school days, is an Afena-Gyan run that has given him a chance since moving to Italy, but his last-minute ability to move the ball also encourages a striker who can play anywhere. forward.

Aside from his material gifts, Mourinho also saw his humility, even though his assistant, Oliver Arthur, insisted that Afena-Gyan had high ambitions.

“He ‘s a player with a lot of confidence, speed and a lot of strength. His most important strength is his ability to score,” Arthur told BBC Sport. “He also has a culture of global success, and he is working hard to achieve that.

“His move is already changing many ideas about African art. Many people thought it was impossible to move from Africa to major European groups, but he has paved the way and proved that it is possible.”

MORE: Ghana’s victory in the World Cup brings with it a series of demonstrations

Unsurprisingly, the eyes of Ghanaian football are now on him, with reports suggesting he is thought to have been called up to the international team for the first time to qualify for the World Cup in November.

Afena-Gyan turned down the offer, feeling he was not ready to represent the Black Stars as he continued to develop his game.

Many Roma have seen the development include a loan move in January, but after his Serie A champions, it is unlikely Mourinho will let him go anytime soon.

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